ARC CBBC is the national advanced research center for excellent research in major, complex societal challenges related to chemistry and energy. Our research issues are associated with the growing demand for the finite supply of raw materials and the ever-increasing demand for new functionalities to enhance prosperity around the globe. ARC CBBC focuses on three research areas: Energy Carriers, Functional Materials & Specialties and Coatings.

The best the Netherlands have to offer

ARC CBBC is a research center consisting of three ‘hubs’, uniting three technological clusters:

  • homogeneous catalysis, materials and synthesis (University of Groningen)
  • heterogeneous catalysis, materials and synthesis (Utrecht University) and
  • process technology, materials and chemical engineering (Eindhoven University of Technology – TU/e).

As a national research center, ARC CBBC is open to excellent researchers at Dutch universities and knowledge institutes.

ARC CBBC relies on a strong representation from the chemical sector in Europe and in the Netherlands. The industrial partners in ARC CBBC have prominent activities in Europe, both in production and in research & innovation. They span the breadth of the chemical sector and rely on the involvement of the co-founding companies: AkzoNobel, BASF and Shell.

“To deal with the global challenges and shape a sustainable future, innovative scientific insights and
ground-breaking technologies are required. These can only be achieved by working together. In ARC CBBC academia, industry and society strengthen each other in creating, distributing and successfully bringing forward the necessary innovations.”

Jan Mengelers, President of the Executive Board of Eindhoven University of Technology

ARC CBBC is building on a recent powerful incentive from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to establish two research centers in the context of the Gravitation program: one in the area of multiscale catalytic energy conversion (MCEC Research Center) and the other in the area of functional molecular systems (FMS Research Center).

Besides ARC CBBC, there are two comparable initiatives in the Netherlands: ARCNL (an Advanced Research Center on nanolithography with ASML) and QuTech (an Advanced Research center on quantum technology with Intel and Microsoft).

Knowledge chain

ARC CBBC covers the entire knowledge chain: from pioneering research on novel chemical conversions up to new processes and products aimed at energy-efficient processes, new routes to existing or novel products, use of sustainable and green raw materials, and alternative energy carriers and components for chemical building blocks. By encompassing the entire knowledge chain, ARC CBBC aims to become a high-impact Advanced Research Center delivering solutions for the carbon-efficient, energy-efficient economy of the future.

ARC CBBC offers a combination of business pull and technology push, in bilateral and multilateral research projects respectively. The research questions are addressed by interdisciplinary teams, each involving relevant types of expertise provided by postdoctoral researchers and PhD students. 

Projects are part of a strategic chain of knowledge and technology: viable and promising projects are selected by the Executive Board for follow-up in subsequent stages of the program. The selection process involves balancing the short-term and long-term perspectives and innovative character of the various research plans put forward. 

Read more on how to join ARC CBBC as a scientist or as a company.